Letter to the editor: Still have work to do

To the editor:

I am writing, first of all, to give a well-earned congratulations and thank-you to our county commissioners, the many county staff members and the multiple organizations that came together to accomplish the establishment of housing for those with mental illness, and for the soon-to-be-built crisis center.

I would also like to give a big thank-you to all the unnamed mental health consumers who have pushed for the expansion of mental health services for decades. I personally want to give a big thank-you to all the past members of the now defunct Project Acceptance, a former mental health consumer run organization.

Now that all the accolades have come in, we cannot rest on these accomplishments. I am certain that the new housing will be quickly filled, and more will be needed.

Possibly, and more importantly, will be the gap left when the crisis center is in place. As proposed, a maximum stay is 72 hours. I can assure that is grossly inadequate for many mental health clients. A simple shift to out-patient services will prove to be inadequate for many. Thus, the major gap left with the closing of the mental health unit at LMH cannot be adequately addressed by these new and exciting services.

Let’s applaud these new accomplishments, but let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work expanding the services and addressing these gaps.

Bill Simons,

Lawrence

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